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Cliché Family in Televisionland

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Cliché Family in Televisionland

Publication date 1965?
Publisher MPO Productions
Digitizing sponsor Rob McGlynn
This outrageous parody of the prototype 'commercial' family was apparently made as an in-house joke by one of the largest producers of television commercials. Their clients would have never seen this gem, which parodies products as well as the people that buy them.


Reviewer: Ryan Schweitzer - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 29, 2013
Subject: Produced by an actual producer of commercials....
I think it's safe to say that Dark Moon's review of this film is correct, as the company who produced this film (if the metadata is accurate), MPO Productions (aka MPO Television Films, Inc.), was a leading studio for TV commercials and other TV film production in the 1950s & 60s.

I would not be surprised at all if MPO's staff put this together to let off some steam (and to preverve their sanity) after having to deal with the insanity of having to promote endless scads of consumer products for the small screen. I wonder if Roger Price, as featured in this film (and 1/3rd of the publishing company Price Stern Sloan (PSS), publishers of Madlibs and many other books for children and adults), had a hand in the writing of the script, considering he (along with PSS co-founder Leonard Stern) wrote for the Steve Allen-era Tonight Show...

Overall, a quite humorous, well-made, and entertaining film, making fun of the "phoniness" and cliches of TV advertising, then, and today.
Reviewer: duncanangus - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 10, 2011
Subject: p
Reviewer: Film Fan - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 17, 2011
Subject: Probably a Presentation for a Convention of Ad Salesmen
The dad is TV personality and author Roger Price, the co-inventor of the popular Mad Libs. (The mother looks a little like Betty Garrett, but it's not her.)

Roger Price was probably a presenter at a sales convention of some sort and used this film to parody the industry. Funny stuff!
Reviewer: audibleobsession - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 20, 2010
Subject: So inspirational! The message stands today more than ever!
Another inspirational movie for me! I have similar frustrations towards the music industry, so I paired it to a cliché musician with my own music playing over it. Difficult to fully describe, but please have a look if you enjoyed this movie (and read my description):

(also note, this is not for profit of any sort, not sure what the license is on this movie, but I'm using it here for no profit of any sort and for educational purposes).
Reviewer: ECorzo - - July 23, 2010
Subject: Licence, anyone?
I'd like to know about the actual copyright status of this clip, since it could be useful... Anyone knows about it?
Reviewer: Dark Moon - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 26, 2009
Subject: Nothing subtle about this one
This parody has such a razor-sharp and acidic edge that I can't help but think that the producers truly hated what they were doing for a living. It has the feel of venting or "blowing off steam," something that people do in the effort to retain sanity in insane circumstances. Being that we are ever more bombarded with the products of such insanity (commercial messages plastered over every flat space that the landscape around us makes available, and invading every media channel), this broad satire is more than welcome. It is, in fact, a perfect expression of my own anger and disgust with our cult of consumerism, and the advertising industry that drives it. Take THAT, Edward Bernays! (this film is a perfect companion piece to the Adam Curtis documentary, 'The Century of the Self', also available here on

It surprises me that no one has yet mentioned the music and sound effects used in this film, which add enormously to the atmosphere of ridicule. They are at least as funny as the stilted body language, exaggerated facial expressions, and cheesy smiles that the players affect.

They did miss a trick, though: In describing Mrs. Cliche's uniform (shirtwaist dress, half-apron, and a cheesy smile), they neglected the winklepicker stiletto heels that were more typical of the era than all the rest. And, at the end-- did actors in commercials ever get residuals? (Maybe big-name ones did.) I'd been given to understand that the standard contracts made them sign away all rights.

Overall, this is a definite keeper, and one to share with friends.
Reviewer: DesiluTrek - - May 30, 2009
Subject: Sorry
I just noticed that Filmnutt already confirmed the guy is Roger Price. But at least I had a couple of other nuggets about him to share.
Reviewer: Dr_Dugong - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 9, 2008
Subject: Ephemeral Gold!
That film kicked so much ass. My colon will write love letters to that film's foot
Reviewer: Njregenwether - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 20, 2008
Subject: Wow
Absolutely hilarious. This is such an accurate example of satire toward cheesy commercials of yesteryear.
Reviewer: filmnutt - favoritefavoritefavorite - March 3, 2008
Subject: Who are the parents?
For those of you who may ask the names of the Mother and Father, they are Betty Garrett and Roger Price. Betty is most remebered for her roles in "All in the Family" and "Laverne and Shirley". Roger was a writer an early television ficture on Jack Paar and Merv Griffin's television shows. He was also the creator of "Droodles". PS..the references to "the Kennedy's" place the time frame of this short around the very early '60s.
Reviewer: pitonpeludo - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 11, 2008
Subject: Conform to the Right Way
Advertisement has been all about conforming to appeal to the public. Though, if this video is true about all the cliched families in TV, I don't know who in their right mind would want to be like any of these people. Even in the past, I think people would have wanted more diversity and reality.

Oh well. That's the past, anyway. Advertisements are still this way today, in a way...
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 10, 2008
Subject: CUT!!! CUT!!!!!
Fun little film that explores the many stereotypes in all these films you see in Archiveland. Of course, these are all hilariously true, Would have wanted to see a teen male there, but oh well. Very interesting clip here.
Reviewer: Framan - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 3, 2008
Subject: Worth a giggle
Timeless humour. This is just calling out to be remade in colour.
Reviewer: agentno99 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 31, 2008
Subject: Wonderful spoof!!
A humorous piece that depicts the cliche's quite nicely. I was caught off guard by the bathtub scene!! Ha Ha. And how I would love to know where I could get some of that glue spray!
Reviewer: 78rpmnut - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 27, 2008
Subject: Excellent!
A brilliant spoof of the "normal" people that were in TV Ads way back when.

I especially love that "bathtub ring" !

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